Students may need masks for gaokao
China Daily

A graduating student attends a class at Jiangsu Qingjiang Middle School in Huaian, East China's Jiangsu province, on March 30, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

Students from moderate to high-risk regions of coronavirus infections should wear masks when taking the national college entrance exam, or gaokao, this year, an official from the National Health Commission said on Friday.

He Qinghua, inspector at the commission's bureau of disease prevention and control, said students from low-risk regions should wear masks before they enter the test centers and they can decide whether to wear them during the exam.

All monitors should wear masks throughout the exam, he said at a news conference.

All students and monitors should undergo 14-day health monitoring and temperature checks before the gaokao and their temperature will be checked before they enter the test centers, he said.

Quarantine test centers will be arranged for students who show symptoms of fever and cough during the exam, and each quarantine test center should only have one student there, he said, adding that when there are not enough quarantine test centers, up to four students are allowed to sit at four corners of the test center.

Schools that have had confirmed infections cannot be used as test centers and all test centers should conduct strict sanitization and sterilization before the exam, he added.

More than 10.7 million high school students will take this year's national college entrance exam on July 7-8, up by 400,000 from last year, said Wang Hui, director of the Department of College Students Affairs at the Ministry of Education.

There will be around 400,000 test centers across the country with 945,000 monitors supervising the test, he said.

"The gaokao will be the largest organized gathering event in China since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak," he added.

Gaokao is deemed one of the most important exams for Chinese students, as it determines which universities they will be able to apply to and potentially their future career prospects.

This year the exam has been delayed for a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure safety and fairness.

Zhang Zuoliang, deputy director of the bureau of security management at the Ministry of Public Security, said the ministry will conduct a crackdown on manufacturing and selling of high-tech devices for cheating on the upcoming gaokao to uphold social justice and the credibility of the exam.

It will also conduct security checks on hotels and restaurants near the test centers to root out any potential safety risks, he said.

Police will also provide timely assistance to students and parents in case they run into emergencies during the two-day exam, he added.